I was never addicted to what got in the way of my goals, though others might tell you otherwise. Thankfully, that is not me in the picture, but I swear that I’ve done similar things in the past. As if the picture didn’t give it away enough, My seeming addiction was video games. While I wasn’t addicted, I did use them as a coping mechanism to the point that I closed out the entire world and hid inside of them.
You get back from a long day’s work at college, school, or work, and what do you do? Some people watch TV, but that always struck me as dull and repetitive. Other people hang out with their friends, but for the past few years, my friends were always across the state line and had to drive 45 minutes or so to see me. Others just get right down to business and do some extra work from what they just got back from, start doing chores, and go to sleep feeling like they haven’t done enough. I feel like we can all agree that we hate being lectured by this last group like they are better than us. I’ve always been a work to play sort, anyway. Or as my father calls it, “Work to live instead of live to work,” the latter being my mother’s choice. I would get home, get any work that I needed to get done, done, and go sit down with my games. In high school, this was after I had gotten back from marching band practice, and in college I would go play backyard sports with my friends, so I didn’t really have the issue of getting fat for lack of physical activity. It didn’t seem that bad to me. The only issue was that, slowly, I started to try to do less and less work to try to get to the games faster. I started to eschew this or that, and it didn’t seem that bad. Things always seemed to work themselves out. That is, until I stopped doing certain pieces of homework altogether. When I didn’t do homework, I would feel guilty the next day and not want to look my teacher in the face. In college, this presented an issue because I could skip without the immediate fear of my mother, who was a holy terror when it came to school. I started to skip classes to finish work, but then I would skip the class intending to finish the work and never pick it up. My life became consumed with them. I even stopped playing sports with my friends because they would ask why they hadn’t seen me in class. They were just worried, but the combination of my guilt and my paranoia made it next to impossible to look at them straight. I would just sit in my dorm room for days on end playing games only coming out to pay the pizza delivery guy.
Thankfully, I don’t have this issue anymore. If I did, my father wouldn’t have me living in the same house as him. I’ve grown a lot, and frankly video games a way to hang out with my friends when they can’t drive to me and a form of competitive entertainment.